Washington County declares disaster, flood cleanup continues


The City of Marietta is accepting donations of supplies to help residents and business owners with flood cleanup at the Marietta Fire Department Station 1 on Putnam Street. (Photo by Michelle Dillon)

MARIETTA — A disaster has been declared by the county and cleanup efforts by area residents are well underway in response to flooding in Washington County.

Washington County Commissioners held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning and unanimously approved a resolution declaring a flooding disaster.

“Because of the severity of the natural disaster, Washington County will commit all of its available resources and, whereas Washington County is asking for state help and the county will advise the state of Ohio of the emergency conditions that occurred beginning on April 2, 2024, now therefore be it resolved the Washington County Commissioners do hereby proclaim that a state of emergency exists in Washington County,” the declaration said.

Washington County Commissioner James Booth said that by declaring a disaster it can help open up funding to residents to help with the flood recovery.

“The county is here in support,” Booth said about the flooding. “We’ve been working with the townships to make sure there are dumpsters and such. That’s the biggest thing, getting the waste away.”

Marietta Community Foundation President & CEO Heather Allender, left, and her son Cooper Allender, right, carry donated flood cleaning supplies on April 6. (Photo Provided)

He said the county can also connect people with help.

Residents are receiving help right now from other sources as well.

Mayor Josh Schlicher said the county has been working on clearing the roads.

“There’s some roads still covered on the south side of town and the west side” but overall the majority of streets are cleaned up and open now, he said.

Schlicher said the city cleared streets with flush trucks and broom trucks and some equipment they rented. Right now the city is working on finishing touches on streets and more detail work and some more hosing and debris cleanup.

Settlers Bank Assistant Vice President and Corporate Secretary of HR and Marketing Laura Miller, from left, Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Manager Karita Miller and Marietta Community Foundation President & CEO Heather Allender help sort cleaning supplies that were donated for flood victims on April 6. (Photo Provided)

Schlicher said that Monday the city had a team from Noble Correctional Institution come and help with sandbag recovery and cleanup.

Rumpke donated six rolloff dumpsters to the city to help with getting debris cleaned up. The dumpsters were donated for free and Rumpke paid the cost of transporting the dumpsters. The city will pay the cost of disposing of waste in the dumpsters, Schlicher said.

He said the dumpsters are for Marietta residents and they are located at Hadley Field, Flanders Field, South Hart Street and at the Parking Partners parking lot on Second Street.

According to Schlicher the city is accepting donations of cleaning supplies through the police department and fire department. People can drop off and pick up supplies at Marietta Fire Station One on Putnam Street.

He said the city is accepting supply donations “as long as we need to.”

Schlicher said the police department is willing to go out and deliver supplies if residents have issues getting to town. They can call the non-emergency line of the police department at 740-376-2007.

“We’re just trying to do what we can to help,” Schlicher said.

He said that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is coming in next week to assess the environmental impact of the floods and to assist in cleaning out some waterways and drainage areas.

Residents are helping other residents also with flood cleanup.

Sips Coffee truck owner Jen Allman sold a special blue raspberry, apple, coconut drink to raise funds to donate to the Marietta Community Foundation. It is called “the rising tide.”

All proceeds earned from selling the drink on April 5, 8 and 9 will be donated. They had raised $732.62 so far as of Tuesday afternoon, Allman said.

Allman decided to help because “we just – I don’t know, I’m gonna cry – it’s really community, we want to help our neighbors. I know its just a little amount but we wanted to do something.”

Sips worker Kaci Sees said that people showed up from Marietta all the way in Parkersburg just to buy the drink to help.

The Marietta Community Foundation is “primarily focused with individuals that have been impacted by the flood,” MCF President & CEO Courtney Allender said.

According to Allender, MCF’s website has information about flood resources at https://www.mcfohio.org/flood-relief.

She said MCF helped distribute cleaning supplies and they are reaching out to residents that contacted them via the website for help. There are about 35 so far asking for help.

“The needs are all over the place,” Allender said about what help people are requesting.

She said people need help with insulation, food because their electricity went out or they had to unplug their fridge, and monetary help because they had to spend money on staying somewhere else.

Allender suggests that if people want to help businesses in the area they should contact the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Over the last couple of days we’ve really been a hub for anyone who wants to help or needs help,” Allender said about what MCF has been doing to help.

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